Topic Wiki

Quick tips on random subjects that come up in between classes (will add as we go along):

Food photography tips
Newborn photography tips

Table of Contents (I'll change each line to a link as we go along.)

Introduction

1) Choosing a camera: Point and Shoot vs. Mirrorless vs. DSLR
2) Camera specs: What do they mean, and which ones matter to me?
3) Exposure Basics Part 1 - the shutter speed/aperture/ISO triangle
4) Exposure Basics Part 2 - getting to know your mode dial, and other exposure controls
5) All about memory cards
6) Using ultra-wide lenses





Lenses 101 - technology, terminology, and specs, zooms vs. primes, basic/advanced/unique lenses

Lighting 101 - focusing specifically on easy to afford and easy to use setups
Small flash - on camera, off camera, modifiers and accessories
Studio strobes
Continuous lighting - fluorescent, LED, and halogen
Basic light modifiers - umbrellas, softboxes, gels, reflectors
Basic supports - lightstands, umbrella brackets, backgrounds, etc.

All about accessories - memory cards, tripods, bags, filters, remotes, adapters, grips, geotaggers, and more)


So I bought all my stuff - now what?

What makes a compelling photograph?
Depth of field
Composition basics - rule of thirds, perspective, framing
Advanced composition - negative space, inclusion and exclusion, compression
Light - natural, golden hour, basic flash usage.

Let's start shooting...

Kids:
In the park
Playing sports
At home

Landscapes and wildlife:
"Grand" landscapes
"Intimate" landscapes
Seascapes
Waterfalls
Cityscapes
Wildlife
Birds in flight
Shooting in bad weather

Portraits:
Babies and newborns
Single person - indoors
Single person - outdoors
Families/siblings/groups
Natural light
Artificial light - simple
Artificial light - complex
Mixed light

Others:
Close up and macro
Product photography

How do I...? (Some specific scenarios/techniques - Basic)
Shoot out of a plane window?
Shoot underwater?
Shoot compelling black-and-white?

How do I...? (Some specific scenarios/techniques - Advanced)
HDR
Long exposures
Light painting
Twilight landscapes
Milky Way
Star trails

Basic editing concepts:
Exposure
Contrast
Clarity/sharpening
Color
Layers and masking

Poll

What type of camera do shoot with?

Point & Shoot - basic (Canon Elph style) or Smartphone
114 (38.5%)
Point & Shoot - advanced (Canon S100 or G Style)
42 (14.2%)
Mirrorless
23 (7.8%)
DSLR - consumer (Up to a Nikon D5200 or Canon Rebel)
67 (22.6%)
DSLR - prosumer or pro (Nikon D7000 or Canon 60D and up)
25 (8.4%)
P&S, but I plan on getting an SLR or Mirrorless in the near future
25 (8.4%)

Total Members Voted: 243

Author Topic: Learn Photography Master Thread  (Read 148856 times)

Offline Achas Veachas

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Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline lfas25

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #136 on: June 13, 2013, 09:42:52 PM »
Shouldn't this go here?

Oops I never noticed that thread
I only paid 15% by switching to dansdeals

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #137 on: June 13, 2013, 09:48:07 PM »
Is this actually a decent deal / camera?

http://www.nomorerack.com/daily_deals/view/398296-nikon_d3100_slr_camera___vr_zoom_lens_kit

Great camera, horrible deal. Besides the camera and the 55-200 lens, everything in the "kit" is worthless c**p. The tripod won't hold the camera steady, the so-called wide angle and 2x "lenses" will kill the real lenses, etc. etc.

Rather get this from B&H for a hundred bucks less.

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I only paid 15% by switching to dansdeals

Offline Dan

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Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #140 on: July 12, 2013, 04:45:05 PM »
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline Dan

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #141 on: July 12, 2013, 07:52:11 PM »
Coming from someone who's only used Automatic on my P&S the past 13 years.

Where does something like a Sony rx100, rx100m, or Canon S110 fit into the P&S vs. Mirrorless camera like the Sony Nex5r or Nex6?.

What makes them cost so much more than a P&S and how are they worse than mirrorless? I get that mirrorless has interchangeable lenses but I just can't see myself lugging around extra lenses...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 07:58:36 PM by Dan »
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #142 on: July 13, 2013, 10:23:50 PM »
Coming from someone who's only used Automatic on my P&S the past 13 years.

Where does something like a Sony rx100, rx100m, or Canon S110 fit into the P&S vs. Mirrorless camera like the Sony Nex5r or Nex6?.

What makes them cost so much more than a P&S and how are they worse than mirrorless? I get that mirrorless has interchangeable lenses but I just can't see myself lugging around extra lenses...

Quite simple:

S110: Typical P&S with slightly larger sensor and more manual control. This means somewhat better pictures than a full auto regular camera, but still not 'pro' level by any means (no out of focus backgrounds, etc.). Focus and shutter lag as slow as any other P&S.
RX100: Pretty new class of camera - huge 1" sensor (relative to compacts), but still a relatively simple camera - no interchangeable lenses etc. Advantages: much better image quality (IQ), and an awesome fast lens. Smaller than mirrorless, but not much. Some out of focus backgrounds, but not much at all. Disadvantages: still not close in IQ to a mirrorless (by far) but costs he same. Limited to one lens. Focus and shutter lag are a bit faster, but still agonizingly slow.
RX100m: Same camera, but with the low pass filter removed. Marginally sharper pictures, but more susceptible to moire. You could safely ignore this camera.
Mirrorless: Amazing IQ. Fully pro results. A million lenses to choose from (even if you don't want to carry any, just wait till you try a fast prime. You'll take it everywhere - it's small and light). Cheaper upgrade path (you already have lenses, now you only need a new body). Not too expensive. Most importantly, zero shutter lag and instant focusing. No missing pictures of your kid anymore.

The basic idea is that a mirrorless is a DSLR in a tiny body is just about every way, while the others are simply better point & shoots.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #143 on: July 13, 2013, 10:28:09 PM »
I forgot to answer one question - the reason for the higher cost of the advanced P&Ss is basically the engineering of putting the high quality components into a small package. The reason the RX100 costs more than some mirrorless cameras is due to using a fast lens together with a relatively large sensor. It's extremely difficult to pull this off without getting into horrible optical issues (chromatic aberrations, vignetting, color fringing, distortion, etc.).

Offline Ergel

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #144 on: July 13, 2013, 10:47:00 PM »
What's a fast prime lens?

Can we expect another lesson?
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #145 on: July 13, 2013, 11:12:33 PM »
What's a fast prime lens?

A non-zooming lens with an aperture larger f/2.8 or larger (f/2, 1.8, 1.4, etc.). They're generally the sharpest lenses and render beautiful out of focus backgrounds.

This picture is something that could not really have been done without a one (in this case the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 ):


Can we expect another lesson?

You could expect all of them. I was tied up with my Alaskan trip for a while, as soon as my trip report is done it's back to these lessons.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #146 on: July 13, 2013, 11:13:50 PM »
A non-zooming lens with an aperture larger f/2.8 or larger (f/2, 1.8, 1.4, etc.). They're generally the sharpest lenses and render beautiful out of focus backgrounds.

This picture is something that could not really have been done without a one (in this case the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 ):


You could expect all of them. I was tied up with my Alaskan trip for a while, as soon as my trip report is done it's back to these lessons.
Awesome. Looking forward

Take your time. You're providing a free service. Thanks
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #147 on: July 13, 2013, 11:26:41 PM »
wow! besides for how informative the lessons are, they are also great reads.
"Shooting fish in a barrel" alol

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #148 on: July 13, 2013, 11:48:30 PM »
Thanks fishy!

So Sony Nex5r vs Sony Nex6.  Got to play with both and am terribly torn.  Both take stunning pictures and are considered to be the best in the mirrorless market but neither is perfect :(

Nex5r Advantages: Lower price ($498 body/$598 with lens). Touchscreen which seems awesome for telling the camera exactly where to focus, touch where you want and a picture will be taken with the focus on where you touched
Nex5r Cons: No built in flash or viewfinder. Very large 18-55 lens mount. No physical switch to change shooting mode.

Nex6 Advantages: Small 16-50 lens mount means this can actually be pocketable. Power zoom. Viewfinder means you can use this camera better in sunlight. Physical switch to change shooting mode.
Nex6 Cons: Higher price ($748 body/$898 with lens). No touchscreen.

I'm sure there are many more pros and cons but these are what I noticed.  The huge included lens on the 5r can be remedied of course by buying the lens separately though that will bump up the price to Nex6 levels.  Buying an external flash+power lens for the 5r will make it way more than the Nex6 and you still won't have the viewfinder.

The Nex6 seems awesome except for the exclusion of a touchscreen.  To get the camera to focus on something specific seems quite tedious compared to just touching the screen on the 5r.

Any ideas when updates for these are expected?  Think a 6 will come out with a touchscreen?
Any other factors I'm missing between the 2 cameras?
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #149 on: July 14, 2013, 12:22:44 AM »
Thanks fishy!

So Sony Nex5r vs Sony Nex6.  Got to play with both and am terribly torn.  Both take stunning pictures and are considered to be the best in the mirrorless market but neither is perfect :(

Nex5r Advantages: Lower price ($498 body/$598 with lens). Touchscreen which seems awesome for telling the camera exactly where to focus, touch where you want and a picture will be taken with the focus on where you touched
Nex5r Cons: No built in flash or viewfinder. Very large 18-55 lens mount. No physical switch to change shooting mode.

Nex6 Advantages: Small 16-50 lens mount means this can actually be pocketable. Power zoom. Viewfinder means you can use this camera better in sunlight. Physical switch to change shooting mode.
Nex6 Cons: Higher price ($748 body/$898 with lens). No touchscreen.

I'm sure there are many more pros and cons but these are what I noticed.  The huge included lens on the 5r can be remedied of course by buying the lens separately though that will bump up the price to Nex6 levels.  Buying an external flash+power lens for the 5r will make it way more than the Nex6 and you still won't have the viewfinder.

The Nex6 seems awesome except for the exclusion of a touchscreen.  To get the camera to focus on something specific seems quite tedious compared to just touching the screen on the 5r.

Any ideas when updates for these are expected?  Think a 6 will come out with a touchscreen?
Any other factors I'm missing between the 2 cameras?

While the 5r doesn't have a built-in flash, it does include an external flash. It folds down and hardly takes up any space; I keep mine on the camera all the time and I never even notice it. Mind you once you'll see the image quality of that camera in low light you'll never use the flash anyway. I've taken thousands upon thousands of pictures with my 5n and maybe 50 of those with flash.


As far as the lens, the 16-50 isn't quite as pocketable as you'd expect; mounted on the camera the thickness is 2.16". I don't see how this'll fit in a pocket. There are also some issues with this lens that you have to keep in mind - the quality isn't as good as the 18-55, and there is lots of distortion on the 16mm end. Also, since it's a power lens, every time you turn on or wake up the camera the lens has to extend; this means that for about 2 seconds the camera is inoperable, making you potentially miss the shot.

The 18-55 on the other hand, being mechanical, has no startup issues. From when I wake up my camera (I always keep it on, so a tap on the shutter is all I need for it to get going), till I could take a picture is about a quarter of a second, if that. It's also sharper and has no distortion. Also, since it's mechanical, I could zoom much faster just by giving the lens a twist. And size-wise, it's only 1.18" bigger than the 16-50. Not so much I think, especially like I said the 16-50 doesn't really fit in a pocket either.

The touchscreen is absolutely amazing and IMO one of the best features of the cameras. Just tap a face for example and the camera will track it in all directions so that it's always in focus, no matter how wild the kid is ;). This is also amazing for video.

I think the only real reason for someone like you to get the 6 is for the viewfinder. It's extremely useful for outdoor shooting, but I don't think it's reason enough to go with the 6 over the 5r. And hey, Sony'll happily sell you a viewfinder for $240 if you're that desperate ;D.

As far as new ones coming out, the only NEX really due for an upgrade is the 7, so I don't think we'll see a 5r/6 update in the near future.